October 2007 - Volume 27
  Helping Children and Adolescents Succeed Socially!
The Social Skills Groups   Divorce and Parental influence on social development

New groups forming now.
Fall groups beginning the week of September 10.

Social Skills Groups are held at:
The Social Skills Place, Inc.
310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201
Northfield, Illinois 60093

Date and times:

Groups are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The groups meet once each week.

Elementary School
Middle and Junior High School
High School and College

Please call and register soon.

Susan Stern, MSW, LCSW


Visit us at:

It is widely believed that children’s everyday experiences in relationships with their parents are fundamental to their developing social skills.

Divorce is painful for every member of the family, but children are especially vulnerable.  Often enough great parents can get caught up in the anger and bitterness, and without knowing it, can say and do things that really hurt their children.  This will influence how their children get along with other children.  It is utterly important to talk to your child about his or her feelings.  Children  will behave their feelings.  Why will they behave their feelings?  Because feelings need to be expressed or children (and adults alike) will suppress them or express them by “acting out” in the wrong way.

What can  we do as parents or adults who work with children?

  • Talk to children about their feelings.
  • When your child is feeling rejected by one parent or the other, help them talk about it, and help them understand that it's not their fault.
  • Open the lines of communication are important at all times.  If you do not offer this then children will suppress their feelings and the feelings will come out in another form, perhaps hitting another child, or yelling, or not being able to concentrate in school.   This is how divorce and parents influence children’s social behavior.  When children feel out of sorts they can not perform as a friend or get along with other children very well. 
  • If you want a straight answer, don't just ask your children how they're doing.  Instead, say, "It sounds like you feel ______.  Suggest how they feel to help them to express themselves.
  • Children and adults often hide their feelings and anger will then turn into rage and this will not help anyone attract friends into their lives.  Or they may go off and be alone.
  • Ask your child, “What is making you sad now?”  “What are you thinking about?”  “Tell me what you really wish?”
  • The expression of “feeling” itself is healing.
  • Remind your children and tell them, “I am very proud of you.”  They will say thank you and feel good about themselves.
  • Always and everyday, tell your children that, YOU LOVE THEM.
Lots of other children and parents are hurting over divorce.  Remember we heal through LOVE and CONNECTION.  And this in turn will help our children to be able to connect successfully to other children.  This will encourage successful social development in your children.
The Social Skills Place, Inc. :: 310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201 :: Northfield, Illinois 60093
Office 847 446-7430 :: Cell 847 507-8834 :: www.socialskillsplace.com
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